The breeze whispers memories around her in nostalgic tongues. Her body synchronises itself with the feeling of them even though who she is now is a foreigner to their meanings. The ends of summers, rolling through tall grass, staining a too pretty sundress. Daisy chains twisted into a crown, queen of fragile innocence. That same calming air closing in around her as the summer sun fades, a premature tickle of Autumn coating the twilight.
Some things never change. Like the grip of word formations on my little escapist heart. Crying at a made up moment between fictional people in a public space and feeling, not silly, but warmed by it. Warmed by the easy sorcery of it. The pages of books have always been my haven, a fortress catering for my wildness. Even in those bleak weeks when I was forced to stay stagnant, restless and kept. The words built a door to escape.
Perhaps this is my madness…
Standing on the brink of ambiguity at the surrender of that mystic caress. Playful trails through my matted hair, seductive down my weary arms, all touches teasing like a charming lover. Is this self destruction? To feel trust instead of violation, to fall willingly into its wayward constitution. But I see my likeness in those wild wiles, a home in the madness.
I recognise the gruffness in the twang of Northern dialect in the elderly man. “Where are you from?”
“Ah, Auckland these days but originally Morpeth, North East of England.” It doesn’t matter how long I’m away from home or how much isolation I felt growing up there, I smile warmly at the man and respond eagerly.
“I thought I recognised that accent! I’m from Newcastle.” He joins in with my grin and yells over to his wife.
“This ones a Geordie Lizzie, think we should trust her?” Lizzie laughs and Richard introduces himself properly. We chat for a little while and I find myself straining to hear the two converse as I potter around the cafe. The warming lull of the roughness, the yearning in my chest.
I find that I miss “home” more and more these days but still I have no real intention to return. It’s more a dislike toward a former self for training so hard in mellowing the accent and turning away from my youth and my heritage like it’s something to be ashamed of. My background isn’t all shiny privilege and a high class upbringing. It’s working class determination and the compassion of knowing the struggles of others. It’s knowing the unconditional love of two devoted parents who gave me everything when they had nothing, who showed me everyday that I was worth more than what society said I was, that I could do anything despite my circumstance.
Richard and Lizzie leave me their phone number in case I ever find myself in Auckland or a tricky situation where I might need a safe place to lay my head. As they leave my eyes water a little and I’m left with that tangible buzz of belonging. That echo of northern camaraderie.
Light and love, N x